Getting festive: how to manage your business spend this Christmas
At this time of year, many accountants, business owners and finance teams will be bracing themselves for the expensive month ahead.
Christmas is a notoriously spendy period for businesses. If we’re not overindulging in endless lunches or overdoing it on Friday drinks, then we’re overspending on client presents, office treats, decorations and, of course, the much-anticipated company ‘do’.
With all this excitement going on, December can often feel like an uphill battle when it comes to keeping track of expenses and reigning in company-wide spending.
So, as Christmas is right around the corner, we thought we’d give you an early present this year. Read on for our tips on how to manage business spending effectively and efficiently this party season…
1. Limit staff spending
It’s easy to lose track of spending when staff are putting various outgoings on their personal cards. Plus, this time of year is expensive enough as it is — no one wants to be claiming back expenses when they also need to get all the kids’ presents and buy the food for the Christmas Day dinner.
This is when a prepaid business card comes in handy. As opposed to a standard credit or debit card, you can easily control how much can be spent. Using business expense cards like Expend as an extension of your banking facility means money is capped, so there’s literally no chance of overspending!
Expend’s business prepaid Mastercard takes the hassle out of managing company spending over the festive period. Using the card’s advanced budgeting controls, you can disable certain types of transaction and set recurring, one-off or fixed-length spending policies for your employees at the click of a button.
Security comes as standard with Expend’s prepaid card, which features 3D secure and bank-level encryption. And if anyone misplaces their company card after one too many at the Christmas party, then don’t stress! Flexible security means you can instantly freeze the card — and then unfreeze it again later when it inevitably turns up. But if it doesn't you can simply order a new one to be delivered next business day.
2. Keep track of receipts
How many times have you forgotten to expense something? And how many times have employees plodded sheepishly into your office after misplacing a hefty receipt for a client dinner? During the festive season — when people are rushing around here, there and everywhere — it’s even easier to get a bit absentminded.
Trying to track down receipts at the end of the month can quickly turn into a nightmare. Especially when employees are on holiday and work is the last thing on their minds. And when you would rather be putting your feet up, cracking open a bottle of wine and polishing off what’s left of the chocolate!
So, wouldn’t it be much easier if your company payment cards could automatically track all expenses?
Expend’s business prepaid Mastercard drives efficiency by capturing accurate expenses as they happen — giving you real-time visibility over all staff spending. There’s no need for staff to wait for receipt scans to process either. Instant expense notifications with precise transaction information (captured at the source) are sent to every user through the app. Plus, you can even automate receipt-chasing emails if needed.
And for those times when card payments just won’t do, Expend will keep tabs on cash withdrawn from ATMs, so employees can easily create expenses as they spend.
3. Stay on top of expenses
We’re not sure about you but doing expenses doesn’t rank too highly on our list of fun activities — especially not in December when there’s plenty of festive fun to be had. But expenses are an unavoidable part of any business.
The worst thing you can do is let them pile up, leaving it until the end of the month to sort through them. To prevent a heap of paperwork at the end of the year, it’s essential to stay on top of expenses. Ideally, you would set aside some time each week (or each day during the busy Christmas period) to process them.
Or, even better, you could streamline, automate and unify the whole thing through Expend’s expense management platform. With Expend, you can handle everything — from reimbursable claims, business card purchases, invoices or mileage claims — in seconds, on any device.
Through the dashboard, you can then view all transactions and generate custom reports to give you a clearer picture of company-wide spending. Perfect during the busy Christmas period when you need to keep tighter control of the purse strings.
Make sure you have a merry Christmas this year. Start your 30-day free trial with Expend today, so you can manage your business spending effectively this festive season — without the stress that usually comes with it!
Written by Adam Clarke
I'm the Marketing and Partnership Manager at Expend. When I'm not fighting expenses admin with our amazing solution, you can find me eating my way around London's food scene.